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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed since moving last year that there is no archery range within an hour or so (indoor or outdoor). There will be a small 3D range opening up soon, but it will be attached to the firearms range and require membership to use it.

I am toying with the idea of finding a large, empty building in town suitable for an indoor range and charging a small membership fee or pay per hour fee. Basically a small archery club. A wall of targets for shooting spots, a variety of 3D targets that can be moved around for practice/leagues. Probably a bow press and other basic tools for members to use.

I was thinking about setting it up like a indoor pistol range I attended before where your membership gets you a door code for 24 hour access. I realize I would need insurance and video surveillance.

Anyone have thoughts on this and if it would be feasible or just a waste of time/money?
 

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I think it really depends on the community. If you have a large archery community or a huge pool of people to draw from, it might be worthwhile. If not you may have trouble getting enough money to pay for the rent and insurance.

I learned when I opened a gun range several years ago that people will tell you that they're really interested and will come out and shoot, and never show up. So be careful of those people as well. I guess basically I'm saying, I wouldn't open it up unless whatever money it cost to open up you had laying around and were willing to lose. Then if it works out maybe you get your money back and if it don't, you weren't counting on it anyway.

Good luck
 

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I'm just goofin'. New boot goofin'.
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@RJH1 nailed it. That's a ton of overhead if you don't have a good density of people that are serious about archery in the area. Even if you do, a decent percentage of those people may be members elsewhere already.

I am lucky to be a member of an amazing archery club... indoor range, outdoor range, 30 target 3D and field archery course.

I've never seen more than one other person shooting there when I go and it's only 150 bucks a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good points. Archery definitely doesn't seem to be as popular here (the land of Bone Collector) as it was where I used to live (the land of Cameron Hanes and Born and Raised). Most bow hunters here seem to just do it so they can hunt a month early before rifle season. There's probably a reason that the only two archery shops in town are very small and located within other businesses (one in a boot/clothing store, one in a carpet/flooring store).

I guess I'm just wishing there was an indoor space to shoot more when it's hot/humid over the summer here.

It likely wouldn't be a good investment.
 

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I think it would be awesome if you had the people to support it. A guy close to me has a bow shop that you can pay to practice in, think he makes most of his money off of the shop though.

With archery getting bigger in schools maybe you could work something out with local schools to let them practice there? Would help grow archery in the community & bring more customers your way. All depends on what it would cost & if you think you could pull enough people monthly to cover it.
 

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Good points. Archery definitely doesn't seem to be as popular here (the land of Bone Collector) as it was where I used to live (the land of Cameron Hanes and Born and Raised). Most bow hunters here seem to just do it so they can hunt a month early before rifle season. There's probably a reason that the only two archery shops in town are very small and located within other businesses (one in a boot/clothing store, one in a carpet/flooring store).

I guess I'm just wishing there was an indoor space to shoot more when it's hot/humid over the summer here.

It likely wouldn't be a good investment.
Unfortunately this sounds a lot like where I live. The only real archery store in town is combined with a lumber yard. There's another archery store that's in with a pawn shop / gun store, but I don't think they care if they sell archery at all. They used to have a 20 yard range but I don't even know if they mess with it anymore.

There was an archery only store that opened up here a couple of years back that had a really nice indoor range that was about 60 yards long. They seemed busy for the first couple months and then it tapered off and they're out of business now.

And this is all in a city of over 100,000 people
 

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As all the other said, depends on the "want" or "need" factor. The overhead would be also and issue, determining the cost of just running the range(rent, utilities, insurance, etc) and trying recoup that via membership fee. Could it be done, yes but do you research first and really look at it. Where I live we have no shops or ranges, other than an archery club. Nearest shop is 20-25 mins away, the better shops are even farther. We had a few ranges try an open, but fizzled out before a year or so. Having a shop with a indoor/outdoor range is way more financially stable due to other means of revenue paying the bills. I wish you the best of luck on your decision!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe a better idea would be to try and get the job of running the archery range at the rifle/pistol/skeet facility and convince them to pay for an indoor building. :unsure:
 

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Reign 6, Reckoning 35, Hamskea, HHA, MBG, Tight Spot, Illumapin, Shrewd, Stan, Carter
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We had two small shops...one in town and one 20 minutes. The one in town closed years ago. The further moved out to a great population density and so called better lease options. Hunting buddies along the way have always talked about opening a shop here again but in the end it was all a pipe dream. Sounded like the solution to end the driving to a larger/corporate type of shop. Nothing materialized and in the end glad it didn't. A...never go into business with friends/family....I learned that lesson having a lot capital into a paintball business with family. Never again. I have a small DIY shop here and have had veterans/friends out to shoot and setup bows, tinker, etc. In the end that's good enough for me and it gives me pleasure knowing I've helped someone out. Back to your post..."Build it and they will come" isn't necessarily the way it happens all the time. It's a huge risk and not worth taking if the numbers don't jive.
 

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There one
Maybe a better idea would be to try and get the job of running the archery range at the rifle/pistol/skeet facility and convince them to pay for an indoor building. :unsure:
I can tell you with great certainty that my archery club would have no chance of existing without the revenue brought in by the firearms side.
 

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I think it really depends on the community. If you have a large archery community or a huge pool of people to draw from, it might be worthwhile. If not you may have trouble getting enough money to pay for the rent and insurance.

I learned when I opened a gun range several years ago that people will tell you that they're really interested and will come out and shoot, and never show up. So be careful of those people as well. I guess basically I'm saying, I wouldn't open it up unless whatever money it cost to open up you had laying around and were willing to lose. Then if it works out maybe you get your money back and if it don't, you weren't counting on it anyway.

Good luck
This^^^!

OP, you will find there are a lot of people who say they're interested in exactly what you're describing.... but when it comes time for them to reach for their wallet, they disappear.

My club members asked for indoor leagues. We invested club funds in repairing the indoor range, target bales and a lot of targets. Last year we had 2 shooters in the Vegas 450 league (it pretty much turned into practice) and 4 shooters in the blue face league. The league fees didn't cover enough expenses to pay to heat the building 2 nights a week....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We had two small shops...one in town and one 20 minutes. The one in town closed years ago. The further moved out to a great population density and so called better lease options. Hunting buddies along the way have always talked about opening a shop here again but in the end it was all a pipe dream. Sounded like the solution to end the driving to a larger/corporate type of shop. Nothing materialized and in the end glad it didn't. A...never go into business with friends/family....I learned that lesson having a lot capital into a paintball business with family. Never again. I have a small DIY shop here and have had veterans/friends out to shoot and setup bows, tinker, etc. In the end that's good enough for me and it gives me pleasure knowing I've helped someone out. Back to your post..."Build it and they will come" isn't necessarily the way it happens all the time. It's a huge risk and not worth taking if the numbers don't jive.
Good points. I kind of have a DIY thing going already, just for friends. I have multiple targets, space to shoot, and equipment to work on bows so I have done string changes and turning for friends.

There one
I can tell you with great certainty that my archery club would have no chance of existing without the revenue brought in by the firearms side.
Quail hunting is BIG down here. The skeet range is impressive. The rifle range has all electronic targets that show you on a screen where you hit so you don't have to pull targets.
 

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There one
I can tell you with great certainty that my archery club would have no chance of existing without the revenue brought in by the firearms side.
True. Two "Sportsmans" range complexes with 45 minutes primary focus on their skeet/trap/pistol/long gun ranges membership as their primary source of revenue. Archery is just piggy backing. No indoor, flat range and walk through only and one of them is lacking in both. One sponsors 3D shoots twice/year. One has a pro shop attached but don't shop there as the owner is a pompous horses...
 

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Hate to pile on the negative side but it’s also a harsh reality. I’ve belonged to archery clubs at various levels since 1980. I’ve watched some amazingly great clubs fold over the decades. I’m currently a memeber of 2 clubs and pay $90/yr & $150/yr for the membership. The club at $150/yr club has ~725 dues paying members and is a 77 acre property. They have a 30 target 3D course, 2 field courses, practice ranges for field and broad heads, an indoor facility fully equipped with higher end equipment/tools and hosts the local archery academy. I shoot on average 3 days per week and more often than not, I’m the only one on 77 acres of shooting paradise. There maybe a half dozen on a Saturday or Sunday morning…out of 725 members. We might pull 35 on an IBO 3D shoot. My local population is well over a million. Besides Cabela’s there is one archery shop in business.
So with the piece of info, if I had the disposable income I’d open an indoor range tomorrow just to have a place to shoot and occasionally share the range with fellow archers. At best it might break even to keep the utilities on and doors open. It’s an insanely rare moment that any archery only range turns a profit or stays financially solvent as a non-profit org.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone. You've all basically reinforced what I was feeling from the beginning. Cool idea, but unlikely to be feasible.
 

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I belong to a club that has a good size membership and dues are $125 for family or less for individual. Our club has a 24/7 building to shoot in with 3d targets, small work area and a little vending area. The outdoor is on 30 acers that is actually donated by the State Game and Recs for the club to set up as it likes. I will reinforce what others have already said without the state stepping in with lots of grants and donations and the fact we have a large youth JOAD and school clubs supporting the club it would fail. There is no way our membership dues could pay the building items, targets, our shop set up, INSURANCE, and probably the biggest cost is the property tax. We are lucky to have a the range we do but man it would fail quickly without all the outside help.
 

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I've been to several large pro shops who had ranges and have never seen a great deal of activity on any of the ranges. Sometimes there's a few guys plunking around, but never enough to make overhead.

Automan
 
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Where I live we have a few good shops with ranges. I belong to a large gun club of 2000 members with a large plot of land dedicated to archery. Few people use it regularly. The rifle ranges are packed constantly. I am thankful for the archery option there and I'm hoping it's not converted into more firearm ranges.

Where I live it's also against the vast majority of municipality ordinances to shoot even a bow in your back yard. Population density is too high. So the low number of shooters is even more concerning.

I have the archery bug. I love it. I enjoy shooting a bow more than any other hobby I have. I also know that I (we) are the vast minority. A large gun store near me (where I believe John Dudley got his start in the archery pro shop at the time) did away with archery because it wasn't fruitful. One of the techs started a shop not too far, and it's a phenomenal shop. I shoot at his range often. I pray it sticks around.
 
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